Luncheon Spotlights the Business Benefits of Sustainability
At the Brands Talking Sustainability Luncheon on Thursday, audience members engaged in a lively 90-minute discussion with a panel of three experts in retail marketing, hospitality operations and wide-format graphics printing. Moderated by Michael Sanders, Director of Printable Textiles and Finishing Technology of Top Value Fabrics (Booth 1848).
Libra Balian, Retail Marketing Consultant/SGP Brand Leader Chair, spoke about her efforts to raise awareness among brands about the value of working with printers who are certified through the Sustainable Green Partnership (SGP) program. She became aware of the SGP program while working as senior director of marketing at ANN INC., which manages women’s retail brands such as Ann Taylor and The Loft.
“Getting SGP certified can help solidify your relationships with brands,” Balian said. “In the process of doing all the research required to improve your own operations, you learn more about what’s in the materials, what’s toxic and what’s recyclable. And you can share that information with brands.”
Yalmaz Siddiqui, VP, Corporate Sustainability, MGM Resorts, talked about his company’s efforts to reduce the environmental footprint at their 13 hotels. Siddiqui noted he takes sustainability into account when buying products for MGM facilities. He also advises groups who host events at MGM Resorts on how to reduce the environmental impact of their events.
Brian Hite, President, Image Options, talked about his firm’s record of sustainable operations since becoming the first large-format digital facility in California to obtain SGP Certification. Not only does the company control how much energy it uses, it also limits the amount of waste it produces. Image Options controls production so carefully that it doesn’t use even a drop of ink more than it needs to achieve the desired results.
In the lengthy Q&A period, audience members discussed the need for more sustainable resources. One audience member noted that creating a culture of sustainability within your organization can help attract and retain young employees.
Marci Kinter, VP of Government and Business Information, SGIA, noted that SGP certification involves more than increasing the use of recyclable materials in your production workflow. She said it promotes a more holistic approach to the way your run your business.